We tend to have a petty view of sin. Not that we think too little of it, but that we think too much of it. We see our sin and see no hope. No hope of serving a God who smiles upon us. No hope of being in His company without experiencing His unhappy looks.
You and I are sin bearers. Sin kills those who bear it, and so we die. But God has come into this world and become our sin-bearer. This means, beyond our wildest hopes, that sin can truly be separated from the sinner in such a way as to leave the sinner free from all condemnation.
The reason a murderer like Moses and a murderous adulterer like David could remain at their post was not that God had overlooked their sin but because wrath is not ultimate.
God has taken sin upon Himself and condemned it in the flesh of Jesus Christ.
For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, as an offering for sin. He thus condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:3)
Jesus became our sin-bearer. He bore our sin and it was the sin that was condemned. Not you, not me, not Jesus. It was the sin itself that God condemned and defeated in the flesh of Jesus – for our sakes.
And, since we are no longer sin-bearers, we are no longer condemned. In Christ, we are restored and now able to bear the true image of God.
There is an undercurrent of thought among many Christians that runs like this. “Yes, God has forgiven me for my sin, but given my sin, He can’t possibly like me very much. At best, He tolerates me on account of Jesus.”
The idea behind this is that God is essentially angry when He looks down from heaven and that what took Jesus to the cross was the wrath of an angry God. Angry at me, angry at you. But that is not what Jesus taught.
Jesus taught us that the motivation for going to the cross was God’s great love for this world (John 3:16).
Motivated by love and longing to save us from the power of sin and death, God lured sin out from its hiding place and onto Himself at the cross.
What appeared to be the defeat of the Son of Man turned out to be the ultimate defeat of sin and death.
There, in the humiliation of Christ on the cross, sin and death were humiliated in defeat. Sin was condemned, beaten, overcome.
Wrath is real, but the object of God’s wrath is tied to the sin in the sin-bearer. Separate that sin, place it on another, and the wrath is exhausted, sin defeated and you come out from under condemnation.
God loves this world, which means that He loves us. He demonstrated His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
This is why Paul could say that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
In coming to Christ, you accepted that Jesus had borne your sin, which means you don’t bear it anymore. In coming to faith in Christ you saw that God had condemned the sin, which means you are now free from its power to condemn you.
A Domino factum est illud et est mirabile in oculis nostris